Rip it Up

Rip it up – To have a great time and live it up.  Definition from The Urban Dictionary.

Two weeks ago I was preparing for a run in beautiful and historic downtown New Bern, NC.  I was warming up with a short walk on Middle Street (the main street through the heart of downtown) when a stranger seated at an outdoor table at a coffee shop asked me if I was getting ready to rip it up.  The question caught me completely off guard and so I stopped, and noticing my perplexed look, he asked, “Are you walking or running today?”  the rest of the conversation went something like this.

2012 Charlotte Run for Peace at Home 5K

Me running in the 2012 Charlotte Run for Peace at Home 5K

Me:  “I am warming up with a walk but yes, I am going for a run.”

Stranger:  “Where are you running?”

Me:  “All through the downtown and historic part of New Bern.  It is a great place to run, especially on a beautiful spring day like this.”

Stranger (nodding his head in agreement regarding the beautiful day):  “How far are you going to go?”

Me:  “Somewhere between three and four miles.  Probably closer to four.  I will probably have to do a couple of loops around this section of town to get the distance in.”

Stranger: “Are you going to jog it or sprint it?”

Me:  (Laughing lightly at the idea of sprinting for four miles while I answer) “It will definitely be faster than a jog but slower than a sprint.  I plan to push it a little.”

Stranger:  “Awesome man.  Have fun.  Rip it up!”

Me:  “Thank you!  Take it easy.”

As I walked away my first thought was that given his use of the phrase “rip it up” and New Bern’s proximity to the coast that this man must have some surfing experience.

But his statement and the meaning behind it definitely stayed in my head.  A few minutes later I started my run, but I thought about this short conversation with a total stranger throughout.

You don’t hear the phrase “Rip it up” associated with running very often – at least I don’t.  I associate it more with activities like surfing, snow boarding, and skateboarding.  So his use of this term in association with running not only caught me off guard, it got me thinking.

I am a runner.  I like to run.  So why don’t I ever feel like I am ripping it up while I am running?  Why don’t I ever prepare for a run with the expectation of ripping it up?  I never say anything like, “I can’t wait to go rip it up” just prior to going for a run and after a run I might say “That was a good run” but I never feel like I really ripped it up.

So I focused on that term while I was running that day.  I focused on enjoying the fact that I was running and getting good exercise.  This simple statement by someone I had never met before helped me change my perspective on my run that day.

And it has stayed with me.  Not just related to running.

I actually found another definition for the term “rip it up” that I like much better than the one from Urban Dictionary.  I found it on (one of those question and answer forums).  Here it is:

Rip it Up – “Really getting into something or doing something really well.”

I really do like to run but I don’t think I allow myself to really rip up a run very often.  While I enjoy the exercise, the fresh air, and the challenge, I am usually just trying to get through with the run.  I am more focused on getting finished than actually enjoying what I am doing step by step and moment to moment.

Surfer - North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

Surfer – North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

I do the same thing with work.  There are many things about my job that I really like, but it is really challenging – mentally, sometimes emotionally, and because of the travel aspect even physically.  So I often find myself just trying to set up the meeting, just trying to get to the appointment on time, just trying to get through the presentation, just trying to make a sale, just trying to keep up with the email, and like so many others, just trying to get through the week.

But I have a choice.  With running.  With work.  With life.

I can choose to be lost in the drudgery or I can choose to really get into it.  Really enjoy it in the moment for what it is.

I think for most of us in today’s world, we reserve that feeling of really enjoying something for those adrenaline rush type activities – like surfing, or zip lining, or even enjoying a mountain view or a sunset.  But we all have the opportunity to enjoy so much more.  Think about more everyday activities – like running, working, playing with the kids, mowing the lawn, eating an apple.  We can get into them just as much if we choose to do so.  All it takes is a little creativity and awareness on our part.  Maybe we change things up a little.  Go for a run somewhere new.   Be fully present with your kids when you are playing with them.  Approach work from a moment to moment basis – email to email, presentation to presentation – doing the best you can at any given moment and not worrying so much about what you have already done or what you still have left to do.  Isn’t that what life is all about.  Living.  Now.  In the moment.  Isn’t that all we ever really have.

I have liked the phrase, “ripping it up” since the first time I heard it (I think it was while watching the movie Soul Surfer).  The message in this statement really resonates with me.  In short, ripping it up is a state of mind.  A positive state of mind.

Thank you to that stranger for sparking my thought process.  For helping me wake up – not only that day but in other aspects and times of my life.

So to celebrate this new awareness, yesterday I went for a run and decided to do something I had not done in a long time.  Hill sprints.  And you guessed it – I ripped them up!!

What areas of life are you rippin’ up right now? 

What areas of life would you like to rip up but you feel are currently a struggle?  What can you do to move from where you are to where you want to be?

Please feel free to leave a comment with any feelings, ideas, or suggestions that you might have.

With Peace and Gratitude,


About Steve Strother

I am a student of life and therefore I am a lifelong learner. I believe we are all here to evolve spiritually and doing so, and helping others do so, is my ultimate quest. I currently write at The Road to Peace about people helping other people because I believe helping others is a path to peace and also spiritual growth. I am currently developing a coaching program to help men connect to joy in life - specifically through understanding the the characteristics they exhibit (and can access) through the four main masculine archetypes as well as through helping them connect more authentically to the feminine - both within themselves, in the world around them, and with women.
This entry was posted in joy, life lessons, Personal Growth, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Rip it Up

  1. sherry says:

    Fantastic post, Steve! I love this message. (That stranger in New Bern was your angel for that day.)

    • Thank you. I am glad the message resonates and I agree re: the stranger! There are those that say that everyone you meet (or even see) in life is there for a reason if you are open to their message. I tend to agree more and more with this. The meeting with this stranger definitely is an example of that.

  2. robvcase says:

    Reblogged this on Life Connected and commented:
    Great post from Steve’s Thinking Space!

  3. Ross Lukeman says:

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the great article. It’s true that we can be just going through the motions, even on activities that are supposed to be “our thing.” I was told recently that working on my business seemed like “drudgery” to me. Perhaps I will try to just have fun and be more in the moment instead of just trying to finish tasks. Thanks for encouraging us to be present in our activities.

    • Thank you for the kind words Luke. I am glad that this post was helpful. Your example of just going through the motions even on activities that are supposed to be “our thing” in a great one. I think that is why his statement of “rip it up” struck me the way it did. I do like to run but I usually do not approach running as if I like it – more of an “it’s time to do this” approach rather than an “it’s time to have fun with this” approach. Part of it for me is that somewhere along the line I developed a more reserved outward approach to things. I don’t show my feelings easily and by hiding my feelings I also subdue them a little. Focusing on “ripping it up” with running and life is really helping bring my positive feelings to the forefront. I hope the work on your business is going well and look forward to talking soon!

  4. Dave Brisendine says:

    Thanks Steve! I reread this from time to time… all so true and good words to live by… I think of myself playing guitar the way you think of running at times and needing to be more in my ‘mindfulness’ mode. Take care!

    • Thanks Dave. I am glad this post was useful for you. I am glad you have a love and talent for playing the guitar. Definitely keep playing and play just for the love of doing it. With that in mind, whenever you find yourself loving what you are doing while you are playing you are definitely present and mindful! Sorry for the delay in approving your comment and to replying. As you can tell it has been a while since I checked my blog.

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